Bellano, Lake Como

Castelli family, circa 1930

Emilio Castelli moved to Sonoma County from his native home on Italy's Lake Como in 1995...

Wine has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember... like many Italians my earliest memories are of raucous family dinners. I remember my father and uncles arguing over which wines they were drinking, and as the corks began to fly and the army of empty soldiers grew on the dinner table, so the discussions became more heated.

During WWII my grandfather's villa in the city of Como was taken over by Mussolini's band, and our family sought refuge in a small town across the lake. Among the cherished possessions they managed to spirit away were many bottles from the family cellar - a treasure trove of reds - mostly from Piemonte, Valtellina and Burgundy, some made by my grandfather Emilio. The wine was stashed away in the cellar of our new home in the village of Bellano, labels faded and peeling, but the contents quietly improving with the years.

This was before my time, and years after my grandfather had passed, a bottle from that collection would be ceremoniously opened from time to time and the men would begin their round-table guessing game as to the wine's origin, variety, and how well it had aged.

Perhaps because of these early impressions, for me wine has always had a sense of mystery, passion, remembrance, and the joy of being together. I love living in Sonoma County and my family and I are firmly committed to this land. Through our wines, we hope to offer a clear window on the beauty that this place has to offer and bring joy to your table year after year.

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